I recently spent a week at River Cruise meetings in Budapest. The city was a pleasant surprise, and I loved it way more than I expected. The city was very clean, and the people were friendly.
Here is some information on Budapest – often called the pearl of the Danube. Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is bisected by the River Danube. The city is a mix of historical old and new. I enjoyed the architecture and the food.
Here are some top things to see and do in Budapest:
Private Guided City Tour
I highly suggest that my guests take a private guided city tour on their first full day. The local guide will give you an overview of the city, go over not to miss attractions, and give you all the information needed to see the city like a local.
My husband and I spent an entire day on a tour given by a local guide, which was incredible. We learned all about the city. The guide gave us dining recommendations and took us to see the city’s highlights.
The Thermal Spas
Budapest is blessed with abundant hot thermal water from being located on a geological fault line; where the Buda Hills collide with the Great Plain. This topographical fender-bender causes more than 100 thermal springs to jet skyward, releasing 40,000mg of warm, mineral-rich water daily. Some people believe that thermal water has healing properties for the human body.
Shoes on the Danube
I think it is essential to remember history so that we do not repeat mistakes made. The story of the Shoes on the Danube is tragic, but I highly recommend walking down to see this moving Holocaust memorial.
This is a link for more information
The Local Markets
I could have spent days walking around the local markets. I loved looking around at all the food, wines, and handmade gifts. ** I do suggest if you are trying to buy locally-made gifts, double-check with the shops or your guide to make sure what you are buying is made locally and not imported from somewhere else.
Cooking Classes and Food Tours
We really loved the local food and cooking classes. They are a fantastic way to get a taste of the local flavors and experience the way of life in Hungary.
There is so much to see and do that the above list barely scratches the surface of all there is to see and do in Budapest.
Here are a few tips for preparing for a trip to Budapest;
Before you leave at your local bank. You will generally get the best exchange rate.
The Local Currency
Hungarian Forint. Let your credit card company know in advance most places accept credit cards. I suggest checking with your credit card company in advance to double-check if your card has a foreign exchange fee.
Hungary has a continental climate, with hot summers with low overall humidity levels but frequent showers and frigid too cold, snowy winters. I felt the air was very dry, and my skin dried out the entire time there. I do suggest drinking lots of water and carrying great lotion and body cream with you.
More Tips for You
I recommend dressing in layers in the mornings. The Spring starts cold, warming up into the daytime and cooling at night.
Bring good walking tennis shoes. There are uneven cobblestone streets. You will want to make sure your shoes are good and comfortable shoes.
Private Transfers from the airport. We tried the minibus, bolt taxis, and other services. Private transfers are better and easier in my opinion. My friend’s husband took the minibus to try and get dropped off from the airport to the River Cruise Port, but the mini bus dropped him off in City Center and had him walk with his bags to the River Cruise Port. The private transfers are reasonably priced and make your arrival and departure seamless.
Bring local coins while traveling anywhere in Europe because there is often a charge to use the restroom.
River Cruise guests; I would suggest if you are sailing from Budapest that you have a pre-stay or post stay for a few days in Budapest because there is so much to see and do.
Do you want to know more about travel to Budapest, River Cruises, or travel to Europe? Please reach out to our team and we would love to assist you.